Second Corinthians Message Fifteen

C. The Influence of the Will of God. 2 Corinthians 6:1-7:4
Read 2 Corinthians 6:1,2 and 2 Timothy 2:2

1. The ministry of learning.
2. The ministry of knowing.
3. The ministry of willing service.
a. Willing to know doctrine. This is truth. What it is.
b. Willing to teach doctrine. This is the application of truth. What it means.
c. Willing to live doctrine. This is the method to use the knowledge. How it works

In the message from this past Sunday, we learned from Paul’s exhortation to us, through his letters to the Corinthians and to Timothy, that we have a ministry and we are to apply ourselves to this ministry with all that we are. This is the nature of Paul as he noted in his letters to the church in Rome –

Romans 1:15-16 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

We are to be willing servants of the Lord and apply our service knowing the Truth (what it is), teaching the Truth (what it means), and living the Truth, (how it works).
Today will look to God’s Word and learn from this portion of Scripture what is involved in living the will of God. We understand that there is a difference between knowing and doing. We also understand that some do not ‘do’ because of what they know! There are times that being a child of God comes with a price and we must be willing to bear that price for the glory of God. You may never be called upon to suffer as a Christian and we honestly pray that suffering will never be necessary in your life, but if it comes we must be prepared to face it.
In 2 Corinthians 6:1,2 we are told that we have received a ministry and a mandate. We must not waste that which the Lord has given. Paul’s defense of faithful service is threefold, using the words ‘in’, ‘as’, and ‘by’.

c. Willing to live doctrine. This is the method to use the knowledge. How it works

1). Steadfast in the Lord. 6:3-10. As examples, Paul set forth –

a). Their honesty. 6:3, 4a. “…giving no offence…approving ourselves…”
As in every area of life, ministry requires that we reject those negative aspects of our nature and manifest the positive. Paul spoke in detail to this issue in Colossians 3:1-17 and also Peter exhorts us –

1 Peter 5:1-3 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

b). Their endurance. 6:4b,5 “in”
Paul was writing with twofold authority in this case which the Corinthians were well aware of – the leadership of God and Paul along with the missionaries with him had personal experience “in” all of these things. Note some examples recorded by Luke in the book of Acts –

Acts 13:45, 50 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming……
But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.

Acts 14:19-20 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

Acts 16:19-24 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

If they did not love the Lord, the saints, and the lost, would they continue “in” these troubles to preach the gospel and to teach the truth? They could keep on because of –

c). Their empowerment. 6:6,7 “by” By God’s power
The grace of God was working in their lives. He gave them both –

(1). Their motives. 6:6a We may refer back to Paul’s statement to remember the attitude which drove their actions – read 2 Corinthians 4:15-18

(2). Their might. 6:6b,7

(a). The preparation. 6:6b,7a No accusation can stand or reproach attach itself –

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

(b). The power. 6:7b Refer to Ephesians 6:10-18

d). Their example. 6:8-10 “as”. House built upon the Rock.

Referring back to the opening statement –
2 Corinthians 6:3-4 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God… ‘
Paul now declares the stedfastness of their love –

(1). Whether applauded or derided
(2). Whether afflicted or protected
(3). Whether affluent or impoverished

Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Paul had learned to set his heart on those things that were of eternal importance. His motive for preaching and teaching was pure, not seeking to promote himself but seeking to glorify the Lord. He and the other missionaries had learned from the Lord that which is truly important in life –

Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

The Lord’s will was the delight of his life. We see the influence of the will of God in action in this letter. What about you? Do you see yourself reflected

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About sjbjburke

I am an evangelist that enjoys Bible study and I look forward to posting outlines and receiving helpful comments. My wife and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in 2010 and we enjoy serving the Lord together.
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